Conductor’s Corner – 55th Season

Christopher Kelts
Christopher Kelts, music director

Greetings friends of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra! As we ended our concert last April we immediately began working on our 55th Concert Season!

Our 55th season begins with a classic season opener. We will feature three works on this concert. Robert Johns, a native of Kansas and accomplished composer, will have his Concert Overture performed for the first time by the KCCO, making its second debut. We also welcome our guest soloist, Hyerim Jeon on cello, who will perform Lalo’s exciting Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. The evening will be capped off with one of music’s most popular works. I know very few people who don’t enjoy the music of Beethoven – so in the spirit of our love for his music, we will perform his Symphony No. 7, Op. 92 A major. Of course a pre-concert talk will take place at 6:45 p.m. You don’t want to miss this wonderful opening to our new season. October 12, 7:30 p.m., Atonement Lutheran Church.

KCCO has begun giving an annual pops concert. This season we will play themes of your favorite stage works in GIVE MY REGARDS: An Evening of Broadway! To accommodate for the popularity of this concert, and to reach as many of our friends and audience members, KCCO will hold two performances of this concert. Please join us, Friday, November 15 & Saturday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church. Of course, if you can’t make one of these concerts – the show must go on!

March 8, 7:30 p.m. (Atonement Lutheran Church) is the performance date for our Classic Civic featuring the works of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Weber. We have a soloist-packed evening with Debbi Allen (KCCO Principal Clarinet) and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola with Yu-Fang Chen and David Kovac. The evening closes with Mendelssohn’s famous Symphony No. 5 “The Reformation.” A pre-concert talk begins at 6:45 p.m.

Our season finale will happen on Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m., Atonement Lutheran Church – and before we all know we will close another season of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra! This concert is titled Tragedy to Transfiguration…the program will be deep and moving, for certain. The program will open with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy. The closing of the program will be Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration – both pieces possess a great deal of emotion and brilliant orchestration. To offer a new sound, the strings and percussion of KCCO will perform Elegy in memory of Maurice Ravel, by David Diamond. A pre-concert talk begins at 6:45 p.m.

…OH I ALMOST FORGOT! Our annual SOUNDS OF THE SEASON will happen in December. You will have two opportunities to see this popular concert on Friday, December 13 and Saturday December 14 at Atonement Lutheran Church. Can you come to both? Of course! We wanted to make sure everyone had an opportunity to enjoy this fun, meaningful and joyous musical time of year. This year the orchestra will offer a twist on a classic. With guest ensemble, Washburn University Jazz Band, under the direction of Craig Treinen, the KCCO will perform Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite alongside Duke Ellington’s adaptation. A not to miss evening!

As you know, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra continues to give concerts at no charge, and through some generous patrons and grants, we are able to continue to do so. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how important your presence is at our concerts. I hope that your experiences hearing our orchestra is wonderful – and if you are able to give a monetary gift – we appreciate that side of your patronage as well. Our wish is to continue with this mission for many more years to come. (Remember, KCCO is a non-for-profit, so all donations are tax deductible).

Come and hear the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Stay connected through our Facebook page or our website. I look forward to seeing you, and I know you are looking forward to hearing us in our 55th concert season!

–  Christopher Kelts, Music Director


Musical Trifecta

Folly Theater (driving directions)
300 W 12th St
Kansas City, MO 64105

Saturday, April 28th, 2012 – 7:30pm
Pre-concert talk: 6:45 p.m with
Christopher Kelts, conductor
Admission: FREE !

Come and enjoy our 2011/12 season finale!  Conductor Christopher Kelts kicks off the program at 6:45pm with his discussion of the composers and their work which is sure to be both humorous and informative.  Both the talk and the concert are free and open to the public.  No tickets required — just come and enjoy!

  • Berlioz, Roman Carnival Overture
  • Botessini: Concerto for Bass & Orchestra – Jeffrey Kail, bass
  • Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

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An American Tradition

Sunday, October 16, 2011 – 3:00pm

Pre-concert talk: 2:20 p.m.

Yardley Hall
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210

Christopher Kelts, conductor

Haekyung An, soprano

  • Copland, Billy the Kid Suite
  • Barber, Knoxville: Summer of 1915
  • Gershwin, Lullaby for String Orchestra
  • Gershwin, An American in Paris

Inside the music – special education event

Saturday, April 23
5 p.m.
The Pavilion at John Knox Village
520 NW Murray Road
Lee’s Summit, MO

Come experience a deeper look behind the sights and sounds of the symphonic experience during KCCO’s first special education event – Inside the Music. You will hear historical and musical explanations behind such works as Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides Overture” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6.”  You will also gain a deeper appreciation and understanding for the newly composed work by Kansas City composer William Funk and his work for the Kansas City Civic Orchestra.

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Kelts Prepares For Second Season

Christopher Kelts, Conductor
Christopher Kelts, Conductor

A native of St. Louis, Christopher Kelts is ready to begin his second season as music director/conductor of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. He also conducts the Eastern Jackson County Youth Orchestra, and has guest conducted with the Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks and the Atchison Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kelts is also the former assistant conductor of the Kansas City Ballet.

Mr. Kelts is currently finishing a doctoral conducting degree from UMKC-Conservatory of Music & Dance. He holds degrees in orchestral conducting; studying with such teachers as Robert Olson, Glenn Block, and Paul Vermel. Alongside his conducting training, Mr. Kelts is also a trained violist. His teachers include Karen Tuttle, Kate Hamilton, and Amy Muchnick. While at UMKC, Mr. Kelts served as assistant conductor of the Conservatory Orchestras and Opera. He has performed such operas as Le nozze di Figaro, Il Ritorno di Ulisses in Patria, Sussanah, Pirates of Penzanc e, Hansel and Gretel, Guilo Cesare, and Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. [nggallery id=1]

For the past seven years, Christopher Kelts has served as faculty and conductor for Missouri State University’s Summer String Institute. Mr. Kelts is currently faculty for the Stringedo String Insitute through the Conservatory’s Academy of Music & Dance.